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ERIC Number: ED451586
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Apr
Pages: 22
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The "Body Domestic" and the "Body Politic": Education and Advocacy.
Thompson, Patricia J.
This paper offers a new consideration of the "body domestic" and the "body politic" in educational issues. It proposes that these entities be developed as complementary, rather than oppositional, theoretical categories to explain the historical development of, and contemporary issues in, family and consumer sciences (home economics). The text claims that the familial and the political can be conceptualized as systems that maintain a constant interdependent relationship to each other, thus opening up possibilities for consistent comparisons. It draws on Greek mythology to elaborate these possibilities. Hestia, the goddess of the hearth, is used as a feminist paradigm to examine how best to frame education for the familial/domestic sphere, whereas Hermes represents the male-dominated public space and thus signifies the political/civic sphere. The hestian/hermean paradigm describes two spatially differentiated and psycho-socially constructed domains that support dual systems of action that serve different purposes. The dual mythogems personify enduring aspects of the human condition and avoid such usages as "women's work" and "men's work," or describing caring tasks as feminine and controlling tactics as masculine. The mythogem also resolves the inherent tension in home economics that is due to it being a male-driven social science that centers on domestic life and the rubric of caring. (Contains 84 references.) (RJM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A